My Long-Distance Relationship Story – Worry, Doubt And Faith
By: Ronke Alao
The weather was warm and sunny. It was like any other Saturday, for most people that is. It sure wasn't like any other Saturday for me, it was one to remember. Two of my brothers, my fiancé and I were in the living room watching TV .My brothers were very much interested in what was on TV but my fiancé and I had our minds on other things. We both knew what the other was thinking. No words were needed. My dream had just come through, I was going to get a chance to live and study in the United States. So much excitement had been building up until this uncheerful moment. I was going to leave my fiancé behind and not see him for a while.
Perfect Dream, Perfect Plan
Several weeks before, we had talked about our hopes and aspiration for the future: I was going to attend grad school and be a Nutritionist while my fiance was going to come join me a few months later to also further his studies. We would get married , have great kids and have hugely successful careers. My fiancé would be a successful business consultant and entrepreneur while I was going to save the world through proper nutrition and natural alternatives to better health. It was all laid out, nothing could possibly go wrong.
We had talked about this and how we were going to keep our relationship strong and thriving for the time we would be apart. It would be a long 9-month period and I was so emotional about leaving I could barely sit up straight in a chair. It was soon time to leave for the airport and at the airport I said my quick goodbyes to everyone and walked straight to the security point, turning my back on everything that was familiar and 'secure'. After one stop in Europe, several naps, a few meals that tasted weird, and flight time that made me wonder if we had not gone beyond planet Earth into some unknown planet, I finally made it to the US.
What Happened To My Plan?
It was going to be a long nine-month period. Hollywood movies didn't quite prepare me for life in the US but staying with loving family friends who treated me like family made it easier. I was settling pretty good but missed my family and most of all the love of my life. But it was fine, we would see in just nine months right? Wrong again, try 26 months! Turned out things didn't work like we thought they would and my sweetheart would not be able to join me after nine months like we thought. It was painful but we figured it wouldn't be much longer….we were dead wrong.
.Two years after I left home, I was working full time and attending nursing school at night, my fiancé had still not made it to the US and we had not set eyes on each other in all that time! Just long phone calls and emails. This wasn't looking good. Did I think nine months was going to be tough? I didn't know I would be trying two years on for size. By this time people were already asking me questions. "When is he coming?" 'Are you guys still serious?', '"What do you think you are doing, long distance relationship?" . Others were simply telling me stories I didn't care to hear- "You know, there is this lady who came to the US and before she got back to Nigeria, her fiance had married someone else…." and so on and so forth. This was when I realized that I had to shut out voices of negativity and doubt from even those I respected.
When you let people spray their vomit of negativity and doubt all over you, you become a stinky mess and strength eludes you.
I turned to the one I loved and we both drew strength from each other.
Now, there were times when I would sink into worry. I never for once thought we weren't going to get married, but I had fears that we were both living in separate worlds and may be growing apart. I would worry about how this might affect our relationship. Thinking back , i believe being very open with each other and realizing that God had us covered was the biggest source of strength. Even though I would do my best to stay positive, I had to come to a place where I looked fear in the face and said "I don't care what you've got up your sleeves fear, but as long as I give it my best shot, you wouldn't stand a chance against me!"
Now don't forget, we still had not set a date to get married. That was more than enough to get any lady worried but I directed my energy towards other things. I focused on school, work and personal growth. I had been attending seminars to learn business skills but this seminars were helping me become a better person and my fiancé was falling more and more in love with me. I no longer nagged about when we were going to get married anymore. I was just being myself, honoring everyone the best I could, even the nay-sayers.
December 3rd 2009, I was in Orlando, FL to attend an advanced leadership seminar called Creating A Dynasty, I called my fiancé as our normal practice was, to let him know I had arrived safely and he said "I've been thinking really hard and I think you should come home in April and then we can get married". My response? In my normal tone of voice, I said "Sure, that sounds good". No bells, no whistles, no screams. Not because I wasn't happy. I was the happiest lady on earth at that moment, but something had shifted. A year before I probably would have been very relieved and heaved a sigh of relief but I was no longer in that place of doubt and worry anymore. The circumstances had not changed but I had changed. I could not control the nay-sayers, I couldn't stop the fearful thoughts and worries from surfacing once in a while, but I had control over whether to dwell on them and take them all in. The difficult period had helped pull out the strength I never thought I had in me. Also, even though I loved my fiance, I was no more plagued by the fear of losing him.
On that beautiful day in April 2010, we got married. As we both think back, we are both glad it wasn't sooner. We both think it happened at the right time.
If I could change anything, I don't think I would. It was a long and difficult time but I grew stronger and more matured in that length of time. My husband values me more and confesses he can't believe the good fortune he has of having me as his wife. What better complement could one ask for!
Being in a long-distance relationship can be hard on those involved but it can work if both parties work at it. You would have to put your head down and ignore negative remarks. Also, guard your heart and don't let others steal your Joy and Inner Peace.
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Ronke Alao is a writer who gives time-tested and simple principles to help women enjoy their relationships and marriages. Her methods teaches women how to get past the confusion of dating and getting to the place where they really have fulfilling relationships and marriage.
She is known for her ‘up-close and personal’ style of getting her message across and drawing lessons from her personal experience. She is married to her best friend, Wale, who is her biggest cheerleader. Her online newsletter, EveryWoman’s Heart, is read in over 72 countries.